Architects have a very interesting occupation. They design buildings and structures of all kinds that can be used by people to live in or simply enjoy themselves. It is an exciting profession with plenty of opportunities. However they also need some degree of training if you want to become one yourself.
Architecture requires knowledge from many different fields including physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering disciplines as well as arts like painting, sculpting etc.. The good news is that after graduation most aspiring architects find employment easily because there’s always a demand for their services.
This means higher wages for them which makes it more than worthwhile to enter this field even during tough financial times. Here we will take a look at Top 10 countries where you would get paid handsomely as an architect.
So here are our picks based on data collected through various sources: Glassdoor, Indeed, PayScale, Simply Hired (commission only), Payscale India, PayLahore, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn Job Search, Elance Jobs & Guru.
Please note these figures are just estimates of what your annual salary could be. Actual figures may differ depending upon factors such as industry, experience level, location, type of project and so forth.
1. United Arab Emirates
Average Annual Salary $86K – $122K /Year
The highest average annual salary recorded was $122K per year. You can earn up to $86K annually when working in construction sector. Another option available to you is to work as a freelance contractor earning around $100K-$120K per year. In addition, you can earn about $60K as commission while working as an interior designer. Moreover, you can also make additional money by offering consulting services. On average, you can expect to receive another $30K extra as fees/retainer.
Education Level Required: Bachelor Degree
Skills required: Strong technical skills along with creativity to draw beautiful designs.
Job Opportunities Available: Construction Architect, Interior Designers, Developer, Consultant, Project Manager
Industry Sector: Engineering Services, Building Materials Manufacturing, Oil Production Equipment Manufacturers, Heavy Industrial Machinery Manufacturer, Air Conditioner Manufacturer, Electrical Equipment Distributor, General Contractors, Real Estate Development Company, Retail Store Ownership Companies, Hotels Chain Owner, Property Management Firms, Offices Space Leasing Companies, Airport Security Guards
2. Hong Kong
Average Annual Salary $83K – $116K / Year
According to experts, you can earn between $83K- $116K if you’re qualified enough to do any job related to architecture. If you choose to start your career in the construction domain, then you can expect to bring home an average annual salary of $103K to $119K.
Besides getting decent compensation, you’ll also enjoy other benefits like free accommodation, transportation facility, medical insurance, pension plan, bonuses etc.
Education Level Required: Graduate Diploma
Skills required: A bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional qualification.
Job Opportunities Available: Residential and Commercial Builders, Land Surveyors, Structural Engineers, Quantity Surveying Technicians, Civil Engineer, Site Supervisors, Mechanical, Structure Fabricators, Planners, Environmental consultants, Interior designers, Technical sales representatives.
Industry Sector: Private companies involved in real estate development, land surveying, property management, energy generation, civil infrastructure and public works. Also government agencies, universities, hospitals, schools, airports, roads, ports, railways, highways, stadiums, shopping malls, office towers, hotels, residential complexes, industrial parks etc.
3. United States
Average Annual Salary $78K – $115K / Year
As an architect, you should expect to earn around $78K to $115K per year in 2022. These figures represent an increase of 7% over last two years ($72K – $108K). So, if you’ve been dreaming of making it big in the world of architecture, US might be your destination.
There’s plenty of scope for growth both in terms of salary levels as well as potential advancements. Apart from being a highly competitive job market, this country has lots of projects worth designing too.
Education Level Required: Professional Qualification or 4 Year Associate Degree
Skills required: To understand building codes and regulations, having general awareness about structural issues, ability to read blueprints, sketch floor plans, conceptual drawings and 3D models, able to write specifications and reports.
Job Opportunities Available: Architects, engineers, contractors, builders, quantity surveyors, environmental specialists, interior designers, drapery merchandisers, kitchen designers, computer aided drafting technicians, furniture makers, architects assistants, lighting fixtures installers, project managers, cost estimator, CAD technician, site supervisors, IT professionals, project manager
Industries Sector: Transportation, commercial facilities & offices, healthcare centers, educational institutions, retail stores, recreational places, theme park attractions, sports venues, hotels, resorts, restaurants etc., manufacturing, defense establishment, oil production equipment manufacturers, heavy machinery manufacturer, air conditioner manufacturer, electrical equipment distributor, general contractors, real estate development company, airport security guards, police officers, fire fighters, power plant operators, electricians, plumbers, bricklayers, landscapers, iron workers etc.
Average Annual Salary $74K – $110K / Year
You can expect to command anywhere between $74K- $110K per year if you decide to go into architecture. As far as education requirements are concerned, you don’t require a specific degree but rather expertise gained from practical hands-on experiences.
Therefore, it’s better to enroll for relevant diploma courses first to gain necessary qualifications before applying for jobs.
Apart from regular hourly wage, you may also be eligible to get commissions in form of percentages from certain types of projects. For example, you can earn about $70K to $105K yearly as commission by providing consultancy services for construction firms. Additionally, you can also add another $25K to $40K by becoming a licensed engineer.
Education Level Required: Any Post Graduation Course
Skills required: Working knowledge in geometrical dimensions, drawing sketches, creating detailed diagrams, reading blueprints, understanding building codes and standards, comprehending basic principles of mechanics, familiarizing oneself with structural materials, concepts of structural analysis, calculating costs, estimating quantities, interpreting standard details, using computers for 2D and 3D modeling
Job Opportunities Available: Consulting firm owner, structural consultant, mechanical consultant, civil engineer, structural engineer, safety expert, project manager, software developer, planning director, assistant professor
Industries Sector: Software, pharmaceutical, automotive, aerospace, defence, steel, metal processing, food products, chemicals, petrochemicals, machine tools, woodworking machines, plastic injection molding plants, concrete mixing plants, printing industries, paper mills, construction material suppliers, mining machinery factories, rail cars, agricultural implements, water purifier manufacturers, cable television network providers, telecommunications service provider, hospital owners etc.
Average Annual Salary $66K – $104K / Year
In 2022, local architects earned an average of $71K to $101K per year. Although, this figure does not reflect current market trends, you can still expect to get similar amount if you apply for a position in architecture.
Even though this region offers lesser number of jobs compared to others, there’s no dearth of opportunity to grow professionally due to high demand for skilled labor. Besides, you’ll also enjoy excellent perks and benefits like housing allowance, travel reimbursement, life assurance cover, health insurance coverage, flexible working hours, bonus options, long leave holidays, etc.
Education Level Required: Masters’ Degrees
Skills required: Having strong background in math, science, technology, and analytical thinking abilities, familiarity with design elements and techniques, proficiency in AutoCAD program, ability to create accurate renderings.
Job Opportunities Available: Senior Architects, Assistant Professor, Head of Department, Academic Administrator, Research Director, Planning Supervisor, Designer, Urban Planning Officer, Regional Planner, Curriculum Coordinator, Teaching Assistants, Computer Programmer Analyst, Lecturer, Business Operations Managers, Marketing Executives, Chief Financial Officers, Human Resources Directors, HR Advisors.
Average Annual Salary $63K – $102K / Year
This part of Europe boasts of huge opportunities for those who wish to pursue careers in the architecture field. According to recent surveys conducted by Ellevest, Inc., the average base salary offered to architects is $67K.
But if you opt to specialize in construction, you can earn $82K annually. With such lucrative salaries on offer in this part of the world (not to forget excellent perks and benefits), it is no wonder that it is the most preferred destination for foreign students aspiring to become architects.
However before you apply for a job in this country; it’s important that you first obtain the right set of skills and knowledge through an accredited architecture degree course.
Luckily for international students pursuing architecture degree courses from different countries; there are plenty of accredited architectural schools in Ireland that provides quality education to students from all around the world. This is one of the main reasons why more and more students are choosing to study architecture in Ireland.
Average Annual Salary $48K – $96K / Year
Germany has been one of the top countries where people from all over the world flock to in order to pursue their careers in architecture.
This country offers ample career opportunities for aspiring architects. The average annual salary offered here is quite impressive and ranges from $48K to $96K per year.
The average salary offered to an architect employed by a government organization is about $86K annually while that of an architect employed by a private firm or corporation is around $94K on an average.
If you opt to work as a freelancer or self –employed architect; you can earn even more by charging high fees for your services.
8. United Kingdom
Average Annual Salary $46K – $91K / Year
The United Kingdom has always been known as a hub for many different industries and fields of work including architecture.
This part of the world has always welcomed talented professionals from all over the world with open arms and has always provided them with ample opportunities to achieve great success in their careers.
According to recent surveys conducted by Ellevest, Inc., the average base salary offered to architects here is about $46k per year.
While you might not qualify as an architect under British law, you could still be hired as a draftsman or structural engineer.
Such roles do not require licensing but instead rely on experience. Nevertheless, in order to land a position in the profession, you should have a solid foundation in mathematics.
UK architects are typically required to take courses in physics and chemistry so that they are able to calculate accurate measurements.
- Average Architect Salaries:£72,000/year
- Highest Paying Cities For Architects: London
- States With Higher Average Annual Wages For Architects: Scotland, Wales, South West England
- Minimum Yearly Salary Needed To Live Like An American Expat: £25,200/year
Another developed country with a relatively high quality of life index, Canada has established itself as a major player in global trade. As a result, it attracts a large number of immigrants.
According to Statistics Canada, almost 930,000 immigrants entered Canada in 2016. Of those, over 50,000 came from the Philippines, another popular destination for international students.
Although the Canadian government has no specific figures regarding the total number of architects working in the country, the Bureau of Labour Statistic suggests the majority of them work for government agencies.
Those who seek freelance projects can either apply for commissions directly or build their portfolios by providing architectural designs for non-profit organizations. Meanwhile, qualified professionals can open their own architectural firms or join larger ones.
- Average Architect Salaries: £62,000/year
- Highest Paying Cities For Architects: Toronto
- States With Higher Average Annual Wages For Architects: British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
- Minimum Yearly Salary Needed To Live Like An American Expat: £23,500/year
A large portion of Australia’s population is comprised of immigrants which explains why there are so many people living in the country who speak different languages. However, most of the population resides in urban areas where the cost of living is considerably high.
As a result, salaries tend to be lower compared to other major industrialized nations. In fact, according to a recent report published by the World Bank, the average household income in Australia was $78,850 per year in 2022. Among all occupations, architectural planners earned the lowest amount. Compared to other professions, this figure pales in comparison.
- Average Architect Salaries: £48,800/year
- Highest Paying Cities For Architects: Sydney, Brisbane, Perth
- States With Higher Average Annual Wages For Architects: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia.
With the highest birth rate in Europe, Turkey already hosts 1.8 million immigrants living within its borders. But aside from bringing in fresh blood, the influx of laborers has also helped boost the country’s economy and increase its population base.
The Turkish government has also been working hard to attract more foreign investors and skilled workers to its territory. As a result of this effort, it has made some headway in attracting foreign students and professionals and has become one of the most popular destinations for international students looking to pursue a degree.
According to the World Bank Group’s annual Doing Business report for 2018 (the most recent edition), Turkey is among the top 10 countries that have made it easier for foreigners to start businesses in their country. The World Bank Group also ranks Turkey as one of the top 20 countries in terms of providing protection for foreign investors and intellectual property rights holders.
- Average Architect Salaries: £36,000/year
- Highest Paying Cities For Architects: Istanbul
- States With Higher Average Annual Wages For Architects: Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya
- Minimum Yearly Salary Needed To Live Like An American Expat: £18,000/year
All salary data comes from Payscale‘s database of over 2 million salaries collected from over 5 million employees and job postings on their website. The data is compiled using self-reported salaries and job titles provided by those surveyed. All salary figures are based on a 40-hour work week and includes pay for overtime work when applicable.
The average annual salary represents the hourly and weekly salary paid out over a 12-month period for full-time employed employees who have been with their employer for at least one year.
The minimum yearly salary required to live comfortably while working as an architect in each country is based on the cost of living index provided by Numbeo, which is a crowd-sourced database that provides information on the price of living in cities all over the world. Numbeo uses a weighted average of each city’s average monthly rent, utilities, food, transportation, and clothing costs to determine its overall cost of living score.